The George Institute supports the Prevention 1st Alliance and greater investment in prevention

The George Institute issued this statement today on behalf of Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director Australia:

The George Institute commends the formation of the Prevention 1st Alliance; and echoes the call to Party Leaders to put preventative health policy first and act against the crisis of chronic disease affecting more than 1 in 2 Australians.

Even more critical is that investment in prevention is targeted and efficient, into what we know works, and can drive significant behavioural and health system changes to ensure the best outcomes for as many Australians as possible.

Over 30 percent of the burden of disease in Australia is preventable. Our biggest killers and causes of disability, such as heart and kidney diseases, stroke, back pain and respiratory diseases require complex and ongoing care, are a debilitating and unnecessary burden on the lives of many Australians and their families, and have unsustainable economic consequences for the health system.

It is also critical that injury, the major cause of death and disability in children and people of working age in Australia, is prioritised in preventative health policy.

We live an era with incredible technology and science at our finger tips. Australia has a world class reputation for medical and health expertise, and a mindset for innovation. Despite this we have an avoidable health crisis.

National coordinated action and smart investment into proven and cost-effective preventative care and strategies are urgently needed to drive behavioural change on a national scale and target risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, poor nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption.

We need to empower people to look after their health. Changing the way people eat, ensuring they stick to the plan their GP prescribes to stop a repeat heart attack and increasing their physical activity to mitigate debilitating back pain are examples of proven strategies for better health.

The landmark Medical Research Future Fund provides good opportunity to amplify investment in patient-focused research into prevention and ensuring all Australians have access to the best care when they need it, including preventative care.

Australia can and must be healthier. Preventative health policies will deliver a healthier Australia.

Read more about the Prevention 1st Alliance.